Patients frequently present complaining of tongue abnormalities. Knowledge of normal tongue anatomy and architecture enable the clinician to differentiate variations of normal from abnormal conditions. Many tongue conditions are benign and require reassurance and explanation, with little to no treatment. Others can signify systemic disorders. Examination of the tongue is an integral part of a complete physical examination. Recognizing the disorders of the tongue that are benign and do not require treatment or further evaluation prevents unnecessary testing for the patient. Careful evaluation of the tongue may provide valuable clues to a systemic disorder.
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